Hydropower, Biomass Groups Say Jobs to Be Lost Without Tax Break

Hydropower, biomass and geothermal energy groups urged Congress to extend a tax credit that will expire next year, joining the solar and wind industries in saying jobs will be lost without renewable-energy subsidies.

The National Hydropower Association and the Geothermal Energy Association, both based in Washington, and the Biomass Power Association of Portland, Maine, in a letter today said the “looming expiration” of the credit is already causing a decline in construction.

“Failing to extend these tax incentives will effectively bring these projects to a grinding halt and undermine the progress our industries have made,” the groups, whose members include Ormat Technologies Inc., a Reno, Nevada-based unit of Ormat Industries Ltd. in Yavne, Israel, and Covanta Holding Corp. in Morristown, New Jersey, wrote to congressional leaders.

Geothermal-energy projects, which use earth’s underground heat to produce power, can take four to eight years to build, according to the letter. Hydropower and biomass facilities also take several years to construct.

Extending the credit, which is set to expire at the end of next year, through 2016 will create jobs and increase the amount of clean energy produced in the U.S., the groups said.

The American Wind Energy Association in Washington is lobbying Congress to extend a tax credit that expires this year. The Solar Energy Industries Association, also in Washington, wants lawmakers to revive a Treasury Department grant program that ended last year.